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Mental Health Services

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department plans to (a) promote the use of cognitive stimulation therapy and (b) provide assistance to the cognitive help and therapy community-based initiative. (248467)

The Department has no plans to promote the use of cognitive stimulation therapy. The responsibility for the provision of all national health service services rests with primary care trusts (PCTs), and decisions about whether or not to use specific treatments are made by each PCT.

It is also for each PCT to decide upon spending levels for specific health care treatments and services, and to commission these services.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the adequacy of supply of mental health services to meet demand for such services over the last 12 months. (250436)

Since 2001-02, real terms investment in adult mental health services increased by 44 per cent. (or £1.7 billion) putting in place the services and staff needed to transform mental health services. The national health service spent £5.53 billion on these services in 2007-08 alone. This is why we now have over 740 new community mental health teams offering home treatment, early intervention, or intensive support for people who might otherwise have been admitted to hospital, and now have 64 per cent. more consultant psychiatrists, 71 per cent. more clinical psychologists and 21 per cent. more mental health nurses than in 1997. In addition we are rolling out a programme to give more access to psychological therapies to people with depression and anxiety. The provision of all NHS services, including mental health treatments, ultimately rests with commissioning trusts and it is for primary care trusts, in conjunction with their strategic health authorities, to plan and develop services according to the needs of their local communities.